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   IN this Sutta the Buddha, in conversation with a naked ascetic, explains his position as regards asceticism--so far, that is, as is compatible with his invariable method (as represented in the Dialogues) when discussing a point on which he differs from his interlocutor.

   When speaking on sacrifice to a sacrificial priest, on union with God to an adherent of the current theology, on Brahman claims to superior social rank to a proud Brahman, on mystic insight to a man who trusts in it, on the soul to one who believes in the soul theory, the method followed is always the same. Gotama puts himself as far as possible in the mental position of the questioner. He attacks none of his cherished convictions. He accepts as the starting-point of his own exposition the desirability of the act or condition prized by his opponent--of the union with God (as in the Tevigga), or of sacrifice (as in the Kûtadanta), or of social rank (as in the Ambattha), or of seeing heavenly sights, &c. (as in the Mahâli), or of the soul theory (as in the Potthapâda). He even adopts the very phraseology of his questioner. And then, partly by putting a new and (from the Buddhist point of view) a higher meaning into the words; partly by an appeal to such ethical conceptions as are common ground between them; he gradually leads his opponent up to his conclusion. This is, of course, always Arahatship--that is the sweetest fruit of the life of a recluse, that is the best sacrifice, that the highest social rank, that the best means of seeing heavenly sights, and a more worthy object; and so on. In our Sutta it is the path to Arahatship which is the best asceticism.

   There is both courtesy and dignity in the method employed. But no little dialectic skill, and an easy mastery of the ethical points involved, are required to bring about the result. On the hypothesis that the Buddha is a sun myth, and his principal disciples personifications of the stars,

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the facts seem difficult to explain. One would expect, then, something quite different. How is it that the other disciples who must, in that case, have concocted these Dialogues, refrain so entirely from astrological and mythological details? How is it they attribute to their hero qualities of courtesy and sympathy, and a grasp of ethical problems, all quite foreign, even antagonistic, to those usually ascribed to sun-heroes--mostly somewhat truculent and very un-ethical personages?

   On the hypothesis that he was an historical person, of that training and character he is represented in the Pitakas to have had, the method is precisely that which it is most probable he would have actually followed.

   Whoever put the Dialogues together may have had a sufficiently clear memory of the way he conversed, may well have even remembered particular occasions and persons. To the mental vision of the compiler, the doctrine taught loomed so much larger than anything else, that he was necessarily more concerned with that, than with any historical accuracy in the details of the story. He was, in this respect, in much the same position as Plato when recording the dialogues of Socrates. But he was not, like Plato, giving his own opinions. We ought, no doubt, to think of compilers, rather than of a compiler. The memory of co-disciples had to be respected, and kept in mind. And so far as the actual doctrine is concerned our Dialogues are probably a more exact reproduction of the thoughts of the teacher than the dialogues of Plato.

   However this may be, the method followed in all these Dialogues has one disadvantage. In accepting the position of the adversary, and adopting his language, the authors compel us, in order to follow what they give us as Gotama's view, to read a good deal between the lines. The argumentum ad hominem can never be the same as a statement of opinion given without reference to any particular person. That is strikingly the case with our present Sutta.

   When addressing his five hearers--the Pañkavaggiyâ, the first five converts, and the first Arahats--in the Deer-park at Benares, on the occasion of his first discourse, the Buddha is represented to have spoken of asceticism in a very different way. He there calls it one of 'two extremes which are to be avoided'; and describes it as 'painful, unworthy, and unprofitable{1}.' So in the Puggala Paññatti (IV, 24) the very practices set out in our Sutta, by Kassapa the ascetic,

{1. 'Buddhist Suttas' (S. B. E.), p. 147.}

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as desirable and praiseworthy, are set out as the actions by which a man injures himself. There is nothing of this sort in our Sutta. To judge from it alone one might fairly conclude that the Buddha approved of asceticism, only insisting that the self-mastery and self-control of the Path were the highest and best forms of it. There is really no inconsistency in these three Suttas. But while the first discourse and the Puggala passage were both addressed to disciples, our Sutta is addressed to an ascetic, and the language used is modified accordingly. The conclusion in all is exactly the same. It is clear that at the time when our Sutta was put together the practice of self-mortification had already been carried out to a considerable extent in India. And further details, in some of which the self-imposed penances are even more extreme, are given in other Dialogues of the same date, notably in the twelfth Sutta of the Magghima. This is oddly enough also called a Sîhanâda Sutta, and the reason is not far to seek.

   The carrying out of such practices, in all countries, wins for the ascetic a very high reputation. Those who despise earthly comforts, and even submit themselves to voluntary torture, are looked upon with a kind of fearsome wonder, as more holy than other men. And no doubt, in most cases, the ascetics laid claim to special virtue. In the Suttas dealing with the practices of the ascetics, Gotama, in laying stress on the more moderate view, takes occasion also to dispute this claim. He maintains, as in our Sutta, that the insight and self-control and self-mastery of the Path, or of the system of intellectual and moral self-training laid down for the Bhikkhu, are really harder than the merely physical practices so much more evident to the eye of the vulgar. It was a point that had to be made. And the Suttas in which it is made are designated as Sîhanâdas, literally 'the lion's roars'--the proud claim by the Arahat to a dignity and veneration greater than that allowed by the people to the self-torturer, or even to the man who

'Bescorched, befrozen, lone in fearsome woods,
Naked, without a fire, afire within,
Struggled, in awful silence, towards the goal{1}!'

And the boast goes really even further. Not only were the ascetics no better than the Arahats, they were even not so practical. The self-mortification was an actual hindrance. It turned men's minds from more essential matters. Diogenes was not only not superior to other men, no nearer to the

{1 M. I, 79 = Gât. I, 390.}

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truth than they, by reason of his tub and of his physical renunciation; he was their ethical inferior, and was intellectually wrong. So hard, so very hard, was the struggle{1} that the Arahat, or the man striving towards Arahatship, should be always sufficiently clothed, and take regular baths, regular exercise, regular food. The line was to be drawn at another point. He was to avoid, not what was necessary to maintain himself in full bodily vigour and power, but all undue luxury, and all worry about personal comfort. It was his duty to keep himself in health.

   It is open to question whether the earnest and unworldly would now draw the line at the precise point at which Gotama drew it; either as regards what they would think proper for themselves now, or what they would have thought most proper for those living in India then. Probably they would think rather that he erred on the side of austerity. His contemporaries the Niganthas thought the other way. And the most serious schism in the Buddhist Order, that raised by Devadatta, was especially defended on the ground that Gotama would not, as regards various points, adopt ascetic practices which Devadatta held to be then necessary.

   It is probable that Gotama was largely guided by the opinions and practice of previous recluses. For we have already seen that in other matters, important it is true but not essential, Gotama adopted and extended, so far as it agreed with the rest of his system, what had already been put forward by others. But we cannot, as yet, speak on this point with as much certainty as we could in the other cases of the ethical view of sacrifice, of the ethical connotation attached to the word Brahman{2}, and of the reasonable view as to social distinctions and questions of impurity. Our available texts are only sufficient, at present, to suggest the probability.

   The technical term tapas is already found in the Rig-veda, though only in the latest hymns included in the collection. It is literally 'glow, burning,' and very early acquired the secondary sense of retirement into solitude, and of the attempted conquest of one's lower nature by the burning heat of bodily austerity. And this must have been a common practice, for the time of the year most favourable to such

{1. So also Kâthaka Upanishad II, 7-13.

2. See Brihad. III, 5, 1; 8, 10; IV, 4, 21-23; Khând. IV, 1, 7. Compare Âpastamba I, 8, 23, 6; Vas. VI, 3, 23, 25; XXVI, 11 = Manu II, 87 = Vishnu LV, 21; the passages quoted from the Mahâbhârata by Muir, 'Metrical Translations,' pp. 263-4, and Deussen, 'Vedanta-system,' p. 155.}

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tapas came to be known as the month tapas. There was no association with the word of what we call 'penance,' a conception arising out of an entirely different order of religious ideas. There was no idea of atonement for, punishment of, making amends for sin. But just as the sacrificer was supposed, by a sort of charm that he worked by his sacrifice, to attain ends desirable for himself, so there was supposed to be a sort of charm in tapas producing mystic and marvellous results. The distinction seems to have been that it was rather power, worldly success, wealth, children, and heaven that were attained by sacrifice; and mystic, extraordinary, superhuman faculties that were attained by tapas.

   By a natural anthropomorphism the gods too were supposed, for like ends, to offer sacrifice and to perform tapas. Thus it is sometimes by sacrifice, but more often by tapas, that in the different cosmological legends one god or the other is supposed to bring forth creation{1}. In the latter case an expression often used on such occasions is tapas atapasyata, literally 'he glowed a glow,' and the exact meaning of this enigmatic phrase is by no means certain. It may have been meant to convey that he glowed with fierce resolve, or that he glowed with deep thought, or that he glowed with strong desire, or that he carried out each or some or all of the practices given in Kassapa's three lists of self-mortifications in our Sutta. All these various ideas may possibly be meant to be inferred together, and before they were ascribed to gods similar actions must have been well known among men.

   There were some, as one would expect, who therefore placed austerity above sacrifice, or held that it could take the place of sacrifice{2}. The more conservative view of the learned Brahman--that it is repeating by heart to oneself, and teaching others, the Vedic verses, that is the chief thing (with which twelve other qualities or practices should always be associated)--is only given with the interesting note that one teacher thinks 'the true' only, another thinks austerity only to be necessary, and yet a third thinks that learning and teaching the Veda is enough by itself, 'for that is tapas, that is tapas{3}.' There are several passages making similar comparisons. Thus one text says: 'There are three branches of duty--sacrifice study of the Veda and charity are the first, austerity (tapas) is the second, to dwell as a learner one's life

{1. Satapatha-Br. VI, 1, 1, 13, and several times in the early Upanishads.

2. So Khând. Up. III, 17, 2 and 4.

3. Tait. I, 9. Compare, on the ethics, Manu VI, 92 and the Ten Pâramitâs. The idea that Veda-learning is tapas is a common one.}

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long in the house of one's teacher is the third. All these have as reward heavenly worlds. But he who stands firm in Brahman obtains deathlessness{1}.'

   So in the passages which explain (by no means consistently) where the soul goes to after it leaves the body, we have a somewhat corresponding division{2}. According to the Khândogya, those who know a certain mystical doctrine about five fires, and those who in the forest follow faith and austerity (tapas), go along the path of the gods to the Brahma worlds. On the other hand, they who sacrifice, and give alms go to the moon, and thence return to earth, and are reborn in high or low positions according to their deeds. But the bad become insects.

   According to the Brihadâranyaka, those who know the mystic doctrine of the five fires, and those who in the woods practise faith and truth (not tapas) go to the Brahma worlds. on the other hand, those who practise sacrifice, charity, and austerity (tapas) go to the moon, and are thence reborn on earth. But those who follow neither of these two paths become insects.

   Here austerity is put into a lower grade than it occupies in the last extract. Other later passages are Mundaka II, 7; III, 2, 4, 6; Prasna I, 9; V, 4. Though the details differ there is a general consensus that above both sacrifice and austerity, which are themselves meritorious, there is a something higher, a certain kind of truth or faith or wisdom.

   This is the exact analogue, from the Upanishad point of view, to the doctrine of the Buddhists that Arahatship is better than austerity. And though the Upanishad belief is not worked out with the same consistency, nor carried so far to its logical conclusion, as the Buddhist, that is simply to be explained by the facts that it is not only earlier, belonging to a time when thought was less matured, but is also not the work of one mind, but of several. There can be but little doubt that Gotama, during his years of study and austerity before he attained Nirvana under the Tree of Wisdom, had come into contact with the very beliefs, or at least with beliefs similar to those, now preserved in the Upanishads; and that his general conclusion was based upon them. That he practically condemns physical tapas (austerity) altogether is no argument against his indebtedness, so far as the superiority of wisdom to austerity is concerned, to the older theory.

   In the passages in which that older theory is set forth we

{1. Khând. Up. II, 23, 1.

2. Khând. Up. V. 10; Brihad. VI, 2; Prasna I, 9; V, 4, 5.}

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have the germs--indistinct statements, no doubt, and inconsistent, but still the first source--of the well-known theory of the Âsramas; the Efforts (or perhaps Trainings), four stages into which the life of each member of the ranks of the twice-born (the Dvigas) should be divided. In later times these are (1) the student, (2) the householder, (3) the hermit, and (4) the wandering ascetic; that is, the Brahmakârin, the Grihastha, the Vânaprastha, and the Yati{1}. And stress was laid on the order in which the stages of effort were taken up, it being held improper for a man to enter the latter without having passed through the former.

   The Upanishad passages know nothing or the curious technical term of Effort (Âsrama) applied to these stages. And they have really only two divisions (and these not regarded as consecutive stages), that of the sacrificer and of the hermit (not the Bhikshu). Of course studentship is understood as preliminary to both. But we are here at a standpoint really quite apart from the Âsrama theory, and Sankara and other commentators are obliged to resort to curious and irreconcilable shifts when they try to read back into these old texts the later and more developed doctrine{2}.

   Even the names of the several Âsramas do not occur, as such, in the older Upanishads. Brahmakârin is frequently used for pupil, Yati in two or three passages means ascetic; but Grihastha, Vânaprastha, and Bhikshu do not even occur{3}. The earliest mention of the four Efforts is in the old law books. Gautama (III, 2) gives them as Brahmakârin, Grihastha, Bhikshu, and Vaikhânasa (student, householder, wandering beggar, and hermit). Âpastamba (II, 9, 21, 1) has a different order, and different names for the four stages--Gârhasthyam, Âkâryakulam, Maunam, and Vânaprasthyam{4}.

   Hofrath Bühler dated these works (very hypothetically) in the fifth and third, or possibly in the sixth and fourth centuries B.C.{5} The theory of the Four Efforts was then

{1. So Manu V, 137; VI, 87. Compare VIII, 390, and VI, 97.

2. See Max Müller's interesting note in his translation of the Upanishads (Part I, pp. 82-84).

3. See Jacob's Concordance under the words.

4. Comp. Baudhâyana II, 10, 17, 6, and Âpastamba II, 4, 9, 13.

5. He ventures on a conjecture as to possible date in the case of Âpastamba only. Him he places on linguistic grohnds not later than the third century B.C.; and, if the argument resting on the mention of Svetaketu hold good, then a century or two older. Burnell, whom Bühler (Baudh. p. xxx) calls 'the first authority on the literature of the Schools of the Taittirîya Veda,' to which Âpastamba belonged, was not convinced by the arguments leading up to the above conclusion. He only ventured, after reading them, to put Âpastamba 'at least B.C.' (Manu, p. xxvii). Baudhâyana was some generations was same generations older than Âpastamba (see Bühler, Âp. pp. xxi-xxii) And Gautama was older still.}

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already current, but by no means settled as to detail. It must evidently have taken shape between the date of the Upanishads just quoted and that of the law books; that is to say, either just before or some time after the rise of Buddhism. We can, I think, go safely further, and say that it must have been, in all probability, after Buddha, and even after the time when the Pitaks were put together. For neither the technical term Âsrama, nor any of the four stages of it, are mentioned in the Pitakas.

   The theory has become finally formulated, in the order as to detail which has permanently survived, in the later law books from Vasishtha onwards. He gives the Four Efforts or stages in the life of an orthodox person, as (1) Student, (2) Householder, (3) Hermit, (4) Wandering Mendicant--Brahmakârin, Grihastha, Vânaprastha, and Parivrâgaka{1}.

   It will be noticed that this final arrangement differs in two--respects--and both of them of importance--from the earliest. In the first place the wandering beggar is put in the last, that is in the highest, place. He is not subordinated, as he was at first to the hermit. In the second place the expression Bhikshu, applied in Gautama to the wandering mendicant, is dropped in the later books.

    The commentators are at great pains to harmonise the divergent order. And they do so by suggesting that the earlier arrangement (which, of course, the strange one) is meant to infer exactly the same as does the contrary later arrangement so familiar to them. To them the wandering mendicant had become the last, in order of time and importance, of the Four Efforts; and they try to put back their own view into the words of the ancient writers they are dealing with. But if the order they were familiar with implies one thing, the older order, which is exactly the reverse can scarcely imply the same. Or if it does, then the question arises, why should it? In either case the explanation may be sought for in the history of the two ideas.

   Now the distinction befween the twois quite clear, though the ambiguity of the English word 'ascetic,' often applied to both, may tend to hide it from view{2}. Gautama starts his

{1. Vas. VII, 2.

2. Thus B¨ uses the one term 'ascetic' to render a number of Sanskrit words--for samnyâsin as Baudh. II, 10, 17; for bhikshu at Gaut. III, 2, 11; for parivrâgaka at Vâs. X, 1; for yati at Manu VI, 54, 56, 69, 86; for tâpasa at Manu VI, 27; for muni at Manu VI, 11. Of these the last two refer to the hermit in the woods (the tapasa), the others to the wandering mendicant (the bhikshu). Even for the old Brahman who remains at home under the protection of his son (the Veda-samnyâsin), he has 'become an ascetic' (samnyased in the Sanskrit, Manu VI, 94).

This rendering can, in each case, be easily justified. Each of the Sanskrit words means one or other form, one or other degree, of what may be called asceticism. But the differences might be made clear by variety of rendering.}

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description of the hermit by saying that he is to feed on roots and fruits, and practise tapas. And all the later books lay stress on the same point; often giving, as instances of the tapas, one or other of the very practices detailed by Kassapa the tâpasa, in his three lists, in our Sutta{1}. On the other hand, the wandering mendicant does not practise these severe physical self-mortifications. He is never called tâpasa, and though he has abandoned the world, and wanders without a home, simply clad, and begging his food, his self-restraint is mental rather than physical. Of the fifteen rules laid down for him by Gautama, who calls him the Bhikshu (in X, 11-25), four or five are precisely equivalent to rules the Buddhist Bhikshu has to observe. There is one significant rule in Baudhâyana, however, which is quite contrary to the corresponding Buddhist rule. According to it the twice-born mendicant of the priestly books is, in begging for food, to observe the rules of ceremonial purity, what we call now the rules of caste{2}.

   Now while the belief in the special efficacy and holiness of austerity, self-torture, tapas; is a world-wide phenomenon, and the practice of it was, no doubt, very early in India too, the idea of the wandering mendicant is peculiar to India. And though the origin and early history of this institution are at present obscure, we have no reason to believe that it was of ancient date.

   It was older than the Buddha's time. Both Buddhist and Gain records agree on this point. And they are confirmed by an isolated passage in an Upanishad which, as a whole, is pre-Buddhistic{3}. There it is said that he who desires to see

{1. Gautama has altogether ten rules for the hermit, none of which were applicable to the Buddhist Bhikshu (Gaut. III, 26-35).

2. Baudhâyana II, 10, 18, 4, 5. Manu VI, 27 (of the hermit). So also Vas. X, 31, according to the commentator. But Bühler thinks otherwise; and Manu VI, 94 confirms Bühler's view.

3. Brihadâranyaka Upanishad III, 5, 1.}

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the god Brahman cannot attain his end by speculation; he must put away learning and become childlike, put away childishness and become a muni (a silent one){1}, put away silence and become a Brâhmana (that is, of course, not a Brahmana by birth, but one in a sense nearly the same as Gotama attaches to the word in the Sonadanda Sutta). This is to explain why it is that 'Brâhmanas' (in the ethical sense) give up cravings for children and wealth and the world and adopt begging as a regular habit (bhikshâkaryam karanti). Another recension of the same passage, also preserved in the same Upanishad{2}, but in a connection which Deussen thinks is a later interpolation{3}, ascribes this habit to 'men of old.' The statement is no doubt ambiguous. It might be taken to apply to the hermit (the tâpasa) who also begged. But I think on the whole that the wandering mendicant is more probably referred to, and referred to as belonging to a higher sphere than the muni, the ascetic. If that be so, this is the earliest passage in which any one of these three ideas (the wandering mendicant, his superiority to the ascetic, and the special ethical sense of the word Brahmana{4}) have, as yet, been found.

   The oldest reference in the priestly literature to unorthodox Bhikshus (not necessarily Buddhists) is probably the Maitrî Upanishad VII, 8, which is much later. There is a custom, often referred to in the law books, of students begging their food. This was doubtless of long standing. But it is a conception altogether different from that of the wandering mendicant. The word Bhikshu does not occur in any of these passages. And indeed of all the Upanishads indexed in Colonel Jacob's 'Concordance' the word only occurs in one--in the little tract called the Parama-hamsa Upanishad.

   Whenever it may have arisen, the peculiar institution of the Bhikshu is quite as likely, if not more likely, to have originated in Kshatriya circles than among the learned Brahmans. All our authorities--Brahman Upanishads, Buddhist Pitakas, Gain Angas--agree in ascribing to Kshatriyas a most important, not to say predominant, part in such religious activity as lay apart from sacrifice. To take for granted that

{1. Afterwards an epithet often used, in the priestly literature of the hermit (the tâpasa), in the Buddhist books of the Arahat.

2. Brihad. IV, 4, 22.

3. 'Sechzig Upanishads,' p. 465.

4. Perhaps, on this third notion, Khând. IV, I, 7 is another passage of about the same date. A wise Sûdra is apparently there calied a Brâhmana. But the application is by no means certain.}

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the Brahmans must have originated the idea, or the practice, is to ignore all these authorities. And it is only in the Kshatriya books--those of the Buddhists and Gains--that the details of the practice receive much weight, or are dealt with in full detail.

   The oldest law book has barely a page on the rules for Bhikshus, whereas the regulations, of about the same age, preserved in the Buddhist texts, fill the three volumes translated, under the title 'Vinaya Texts,' in the 'Sacred Books of the East.' And as time goes on the priestly literature continues to treat the life of a Bhikshu as entirely subordinate, and in the curtest manner. Even Manu has only three or four pages on the subject. The inconsistency, brevity, and incompleteness of the regulations in the priestly books lead one to suppose that, at the time when they were written, there were not enough Bhikshus, belonging to those circles, to make the regulations intended for them alone a matter of much practical importance. In other words, the development also of the Bhikshu idea was due rather to the Kshatriyas than to the sacrificing priests.

   The latter were naturally half-hearted in the matter. Even after they had invented the Âsrama theory, they did not seem to be very keen about it. On the contrary, there are several passages the other way. Âpastamba closes his exposition of them with a remark that upsets the whole theory: 'There is no reason to place one Âsrama before another{1}.' And just before that he quotes a saying of Pragâpati from which it follows that those who become Bhikshus do not gain salvation at all, 'they become dust and perish.'

   This was no doubt the real inmost opinion of the more narrow-minded of the priests. But the first maker of the phrase did not quite like to put this forward in his own name--the idea of the Bhikshu as a man worthy of special esteem had already become too strong for that. So he makes the god his stalking-horse; and tries, by using his name, to gain respectability and acceptance for his view. And it survives accordingly as late as the earlier portion of Manu (II, 230), where mention is made of 'the Three Âsramas,' omitting the Bhikshu. We ought not to be surprised to find that, though the whole passage is reproduced, in other respects, in the Institutes of Vishnu (XXXI, 7), this very curious and interesting phrase is replaced by another which avoids the difficulty.

{1 Âp. II, 9, 24, 15.}

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   Baudhâyana also actually quotes with approval another old saying: 'There was forsooth an Asura, Kapila by name, the son of Prahlâda. Striving against the gods he made these divisions (the Âsramas). A wise man should not take heed of them{1}.

   If the priests, when the custom of 'going forth' as a Bhikshu was becoming prevalent, had wished to counteract it, to put obstacles in the way, and especially to prevent any one doing so without first having become thoroughly saturated with the priest1y view of things, they could scarcely have taken a more efficacious step than the establishment of this theory. And so far as it served this purpose, and so far, only, do they seem to have cared much for it. We have no evidence that the theory had, at any time, become a practical reality--that is, that any considerable number of the twice-born, or even of the Brahmans, did actually carry out all the four Âsramas. Among the circles led by the opinion of learned and orthodox priests it was, no doubt, really held improper for any man to become a religieux until he was getting old, or without having first gone through a regular course of Vedic study. And whenever he did renounce the world he was expected to follow such of the ancient customs (now preserved in the priestly books under the three heads of Vânaprastha, Parivrâgaka, and Vedasamnyâsin) as he chose to follow. But even then he need not observe a clear distinction between these various heads. The percentage of elderly Brahmans who followed any of the three at all must always have been very small indeed, and of these a good many probably became Vedasamnyâsins, a group which lies outside of the Âsramas. The rules are admitted to be obsolete now. Sankara says they were not observed in his time{2}. And the theory seems to be little more than a priestly protest against the doctrine, acted upon by Buddhists, Gains, and others, and laid down in the Madhura Sutta, that even youths might 'go forth' without any previous Vedic study{3}.

   There were, in other words, in the Indian community of that time, a number of people--very small, no doubt, compared with the total population, but still amounting to some thousands--who estimated the mystic power of tapas above that of sacrifice; who gave up the latter, and devoted themselves, in the woods, to those kinds of bodily austerity and

{1. Baudh. II, 6, 11, 28.

2. See the passage quoted by Deussen, 'Vedânta-system,' p. 40.

3. See the fu11 text in Chalmer's paper in the J. R. A. S. for 1894.}

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self-torture of which our Sutta gives the earliest detailed account. There were others who rejected both, and preferred the life of the wandering mendicant. In both classes there were unworthy men who used their religious professions for the 'low aims' set out in the tract on the Sîlas incorporated in our Sutta, whose very words, in not a few instances, recur in the old law books.

   But there was also no little earnestness, no little 'plain living and high thinking' among these 'irregular friars.' And there was a great deal of sympathy, both with their aims and with their practice (provided always they keep to the priestly view of things), among the official class, the regular sacrificing priests. Instead of condemning them, the priests tried, therefore, rather to regulate them. One Vikhanas compiled a special book on Tapas, called either after the author the Vaikhânasa Sûtra, or after the subject the Srâmanaka Sûtra, which is several times referred to as an authority in the law books whose precepts are doubtless, in part, taken from it{1}. Tapas was then, in accordance with the general view in the circles in which the law books were composed, regarded as the higher of the two, and put therefore at the end in the list of Âsramas. But there was also another view which had already made itself felt in the Upanishads, which is the basis of our Sutta, and which no doubt became more widely spread in consequence of its having been the view taken up by the progressive party we now call Buddhists. According to this view the life of the Bhikshu, of the wandering mendicant, was the higher. This view, disliked by the more narrow-minded, but regarded with favour by the more spiritually-minded of the Brahmans, gradually attained so unquestionably the upper hand, that the order of the last two of the Âsramas had to be changed. Tapas became then a preliminary stage to, instead of the final crown of, the religious life.

   But the other view continued to be held by a large and influential minority. The strong leaning of the human heart to impute a singular efficacy to physical self-mortifications

{1. See Bühler's 'Manu,' XXVII, and the commentators referred to in Bühler's notes, pp. 202 and 203. Also Vas. IX, 10; Gaut. III, 27; Baudh. II, 6, 11, 14, 15 (which proves the identity of the two); III, 3, 15-18. Haradatta on Âpastamba II, 9, 21, 21 (where he also says they are the same). Dr. Burnell had in his possession fragments of this work, or what, in his opinion, seemed to be so. He says it was used by followers of the Black Yagur-veda. Bühler also (Âp. p. 154, note) says the Sûtra is in existence, and procurable in Gugarât.}

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of all kinds could not be eradicated. Many of the laity still looked on those who carried out such practices with peculiar favour. The tendency made itself felt even in Buddhism, in spite of our present Sutta, and of many other passages to a similar effect. There is a special name for the 'extra vows,' the dhutangas, carried out by such of the brethren as were inclined that way. And these receive special glorification in a whole book at the end of the Milinda{1}. It is true that, even in these 'extra vows,' all the extreme forms of tapas are omitted. But this is only a matter of degree. In the priestly law books, also, though they go somewhat further than the dhutangas, the most extreme forms are omitted, especially in the rules for hermits and mendicants contained in the earlier books. This is another point in which the early Buddhists and the more advanced of the learned Brahmans of their time are found to be acting in sympathy. But the discussion of the details would take us too far from our subject.

   The Niganthas, Âgîvakas, and others went to the other extreme, and like the Buddhists, they never admitted any theory like that of the distinction in time between the Four Âsramas{2}. It is even doubtful how far that distinction became a really valid and practical reality among the learned priests. They alone, as we have seen, always laid stress on the importance of not 'going forth,' either as ascetic or as wandering mendicant (tâpasa or bhikshu), unless first the years of studentship, and then the life as a sacrificing householder, had been fulfilled. They spoke occasionally of Three Efforts only. And as we have seen the lawyers differed in the order in which they mention the two classes of religieux{3}.

{1. My 'Milinda,' II, 244-274.

2. The Buddhists admitted a distinction in class as between tâpasas and bhikkhus. They often distinguish between the simple pabbaggâ of the latter and the tâpasa-pabbaggâ of the former. See for instance Gât. III, 119 (of non-Buddhists).

3. When the warrior hero of the Râmâyana brutally murders a peaceful hermit, it is not necessary to call in the Âsrama rules to justify the foul deed. The offence (in the view of the poet on the part of the hermit, in the view of most Westerns on the part of the hero) is simply social insolence. Would public opinion, in Kosala, have sanctioned such an act, or enjoyed such a story, in the time of the Pitakas? The original Râmâyana probably arose, as Professor Jacobi has shown, in Kosala; but this episode (VII, 76) is not in the oldest part. The doctrine for which the poet claims the approval of the gods (and which, therefore was not unquestioned among men, or he need not have done so) is that a Sûmay not become a tâpasa.}

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   By the time that the later order was settled the word Bhikshu had come to mean so specially a Buddhist mendicant that the learned Brahmans no longer thought it fitting to apply the term to their own mendicants. This at least may be the explanation of the fact that it is used in Gautama's law book, and not afterwards.

   The history of the word is somewhat doubtful. It is not found as yet, as we have seen above, in any pre-Buddhistic text. Perhaps the Gains or the Buddhists first used it. But it was more probably a term common before their time, though not long before, to all mendicants. The form is sufficiently curious for Pânini to take special notice of it in the rule for the formation from desideratives of nouns in u{1}. In another rule{2} he mentions two Bhikshu Sûtras--manual for mendicants, as the Vaikhânasa Sûtra was for the hermits (tâpasas). These are used by the Pârâsârinas and the Karmaandinas, two groups or corporations, doubtless, of Brahmanical mendicants. Professor Weber refers to this in his History of Indian Literature, pe 305, and Professor Kielhorn has been kind enough to inform me that nothing more has been since discovered on the matter. These Sûtras are not mentioned elsewhere. And they can never have acquired so much importance as the Vaikhânasa Sûtra, or they would almost certainly have been referred to in the sections in the later law books on mendicants, just as the Vaikhânasa is in the sections of the tâpasas.

   It is also very curious to find Brâmana Bhikshus with special class names as if they belonged to an Order like those of the Buddhists and the Gains. No such Brahmanical Orders of recluses (pabbagitâ) are mentioned in the Pitakas. When Brâmana Bhikshus are referred to, it is either as isolated recluses, or by a generic name not implying any separate Order. Thus in an important passage of the Anguttara we have the folowing list of religieux, contemporaries of the Buddha:--

1. Âgivikâ.
2. Niganthâ.
3. Munda-sâvakâ.
4. Gatilakâ.
5. Paribbâgakâ.
6. Magandikâ.
7. Tedandikâ.
8. Aviruddhakâ.
9. Gotamakâ.
10. Devadhammikâ.

   No. 1. The men of the livelihood, among whom Makkhali Gosâ was a recognised leader, were especially addicted to

{1. II, 3, 4.

2. IV, 3, 110.}

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tapas of all kinds, and went always quite naked. The name probably means: 'Those who claimed to be especially strict in their rules as to means of livelihood.' The Buddhists also laid special stress on this. The fifth of the eight divisions of the Eightfold Path is sammâ âgîvo{1}.

   No. 2. The Unfettered are the sect we now call Gains, then under the leadership of the Nâtaputta. They were also addicted, but to a somewhat less degree, to tapas; and Buddhaghosa here adds that they wore a loin cloth.

   No. 3. The disciples of the Shaveling are stated by Buddhaghosa to be the same as No. 2. The reading is doubtful, and his explanation requires explanation. Perhaps some special subdivision of the Gains is intended.

   No. 4. Those who wear their hair in braids. To do so was the rule for the orthodox hermits (the Vânaprasthas or Tâpasas, Gautama III, 34). The Brâmana Bhikshu, on the other hand, was either to be bald, or to have only a forelock (ibid. 22).

   No. 5. The wanderers. This is a generic term for wandering mendicants. They went, according to Buddhaghosa, fully clad.

   Nos. 6-10 are said by Buddhaghosa to be followers of the Titthiyâ, that is the leaders of all schools that were non-Buddhist. It is precisely here that the list becomes most interesing, the first five names being otherwise known. And it is much to be regretted that the tradition had not preserved any better explanation of the terms that the vague phrase repeated by Buddhaghosa.

   No. 6 is quite unintelligible at present.

   No. 7. The Bearers of the triple staff have not been found elsewhere, as yet, earlier than the latest part of Manu (XII, 10). It is very possibly the name given in the Buddhist community to the Brahmana Bhikshus (not Tâpasas). They carried three staves bound up as one, as a sign, it is supposed, of their self-restraint in thought, word, and deed. This explanation may possibly hold good for so early a date. But it may also be nothing more than an edifying gloss on an old word whose original meaning had been forgotten. In that case the gloss would be founded on such passages as Gaut. III, 17{2}, where the idea of this threefold division of conduct recurs in the law books. But the technical term tridandin is not mentioned in them.

{1. See on this Order the passages quoted above in the note at p. 71; and Leumann in the 'Vienna Oriental Journal,' III, 128.

2. Comp. Baudhâyana XI, 6, 11, 23; Manu V, 165; IX, 29.}

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   No.8. The not opposing ones, the Friends, are not mentioned elsewhere.

   No. 9. The followers of Gotama means, almost certainly, the followers of some other member of the Sâkya clan, distinct from our Gotama, who also founded an Order. We only know of one who did so, Devadatta. The only alternative is that some Brâmana, belonging to the Gotama gotra, is here referred to as having had a community of Bhikshus named after him. But we know nothing of any such person.

   No. 10. Those who follow the religion of the God are not mentioned elsewhere, Who is 'the God'? Is it Sakka (Indra) or Siva? The Deva of the names Devadatta, Devasetthi, Devadaha, &c, is probably the same.

   We find in this suggestive list several names, used technically as the designation of particular sects, but in meaning applicable quite as much to most of the others. They all claimed to be pure as regards means of livelihood, to be unfettered, to be friends; they all wandered from place to place, they were all mendicants. And the names can only gradually have come to have the special meaning of the member of one school, or order, only. We should not, therefore, be surprised if the name Bhikshu, also, has had a similar history{1}.

{1. There is a similar list, also full of interesting puzzles, but applicable of course to a date later by some centuries than the above, in the Milinda, p, 191, Worshippers of Siva are there expressly mentioned.}

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